Doubts, Me and God.

When I first faced doubts about God’s love for me, I was thirteen years old. I would love that you read to the end.

Experience has taught me how natural doubts are. They never mean that you are not a child of God. They only show that you are living in the physical too because, really, we are living in two worlds simultaneously, the spiritual and the physical so while we live in a world that is intangible, we also live in a world that our five senses interact with. Tangible. Point is, I am a child of God and I doubted.

I didn’t lose a loved one to doubt God’s love for me. I did lose but I’d already started doubting before then. I made prayers and didn’t see the answers. I tried to convince myself that God had a better answer because I was told that God usually had three answers, it was either a ‘Yes’, a ‘No’ or ‘Wait/Not now’.

Well, wasn’t God just unpredictable? I remember back then, I’d go to a church meeting and see other people fall under the “anointing” and think to myself, “What about me?” When prophecies came for people, I’d pray and hope that I would at least receive mine. I doubt I still need to say I didn’t. This was all before I lost a cousin to cancer. I’d watched my mum develop high blood pressure while she spent all her money treating my cousin with both ‘white’ and ‘black’ medicine before she passed on and everyone said “Let the will of God be done”. So I doubted.

One day at school, the principal said, “God will punish everyone that steals” annoI just felt, well, they deserve it. Truth is, you might find a lot of people say God punishes people but He loves them. This would have been fine if they said it with the plain reason the writer of the Hebrews had when he said, “The Lord chastens the son He loves” but no, They believe once you lose your job, it would be for something wrong (in the sight of God) you have done or you fall ill and people start asking, “Have you asked God for forgiveness?” “Have you really reflected on what could have led to this?” Oh. No one’s ever asked you that? But I bet one day, it seemed  like you woke on the wrong side of the bed and you started asking, “What have I done wrong?” Done wrong to who? And getting punished by who? 

So deep seated in our consciousness is the idea that God is holy and will therefore do whatever is “just” and “right” as He deems fit, no matter how evil it is. And no. We don’t like to call anything something as ‘killing’ evil if we “know” God to be the doer. We say things like, “Maybe God just took his daughter to test his love for Him. Weren’t those assumptions? Plus when did the value of evil change depending on who does it? There were doubts.

But Apostle James said God does no evil. He said by the Holy Ghost that God is not tempted of evil neither does He tempt any man that way. God said we should not kill or steal and infact, the ten commandments are written in one line. Love. He would not do contrary because He is love and He is unchanging. The fruits of the Spirit do not include killing or anger or even jealousy. Why even did Jesus say “Be like your Father who causes His sun to shine on both the just and the ungodly?” and why did Apostle Paul say in Ephesians 5 that we should be imitators of God by walking in love if all this  doesn’t show that God has just one disposition? Love! I didn’t know and so I doubted.

I can say my doubts were dispelled completely as I learnt from the writer of Hebrews that Jesus is the image of God, the full representation of who God is and I gleaned from the prophecy of Jeremiah (31:34) that we will all know God and the stability of His character when we understand how He forgives. How does He forgive? 

Jesus Christ, when He was asked how many times forgiveness is required, gave a brief reply heavily laddened with meaning. Seventy times seven. He was saying “Behave like God”, ” Forgive uncountably”, “Do not bear the number in mind”, “Forgive ahead of time”.

Same way Apostle Paul revealed in Corinthians that In Christ, God reconciled men to Himself and everyone who believed (in Christ) was a new creature whose sins were not being put against him. The Holy Ghost was teaching through the apostle that we receive forgiveness as a gift and that you were forgiven before you even faltered. What were those things that made me doubt again? What are those things that make you wonder, ‘Oh where is God? Why does He seem to be like this?

Well, Jesus, the image of God healed and if He healed, it means God doesn’t put illnesses in people or “permit” them. We live in a world whose system is dead. If Jesus cast out devils, He was opening our eye to say, ‘See! You did nothing to deserve this. God is not in it!” How about when He calmed the storm? He was saying, “God’s hand isn’t in these natural disasters” Don’t you love God? It was personally a relief to me to know that the enemy, subtle thief as he is was the complete evil. It unburdened me to know God is always for His creation.

Even as I read the popular John 3:16, I learnt that God’s love is seen in the fact that He gave Christ(His son) to die and take our place in judgement so that we are declared innocent. Apostle Paul supported the truth by again declaring in Romans that Christ showed His love for us by dying not for a good or righteous-in-themselves humanity but for a world of sinners and in Ephesians, he buttressed his point saying that God’s show of love supersedes all that we can imagine or hope for because He blessed us with all good things in God (spiritual blessings), made us partakers of the divine nature and given us authority by seating us with Him. Ah!

I tell you! I doubted no more!

I’ve been through the valley of doubt but have learnt that, in that valley is where the enemy wants to have us all. In the pit of fear. I’ve learned by gazing on the love of Christ that I can put faith in the God who is good and true. I can put faith in the God who loves because it is His nature, not based on my doings and appearances. I have learnt much more that God’s love for me is primarily seen in the eternal life in His son(1Jn 5:11-13) and the gift of no condemnation(Rom.8:1) all my possession because I received His spirit on believing(Eph 1:13), not necessarily in good grades or income flow or working inter-personal relationships because they are controlled by men. 

All the while, it hadn’t been God. It was me. My mind being tilled by the enemy. I now not only receive edification, prophecies or healings but I also give by the Spirit at work in every believer because I have learnt that faith in His name and acting on what the word says is all the victory I need ‘coz there is no limit to what God can do through the willing. 

I renewed my mind in the word and began to know God. Light came and dispelled darkness. Love came and chased fear. Faith came and doubts were gone. I have learnt to take my stand with God’s word. You should.

by Buzhoo (2019)

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BOOK REVIEW: NORTH by BUSAYO KEHINDE

Reviewer: Ubamara Ezenobi.

Life happens to everyone. It’s inevitable. The things that you never imagine would ever happen to you could take place in the blink of an eye. You could become a person you never imagined you would be in the space of a few days. In these times we are thrown off balance, left to decide who or what to hold onto as anchor. In this book, North, Busayo Kehinde tells us in the best way possible, the best direction to follow.

North is the story of a young woman, Laura, who goes through much distress in life despite her love for God. First, she loses her younger brother to leukaemia. Next is her dad who walks out on them. And then, as though she has not lost enough, she loses her fiancé who loved God so much, to a lifestyle of drugs and women. Eventually, he dies. These tragedies turn her south, and she decides she doesn’t believe in God anymore.

Busola helps us realize that it’s not really about the many challenges you face, but about what you choose at the end of the day: life, or not. By placing special characters like little Ire who battles with sickle cell anaemia yet has unwavering faith in God, and other people who constantly remind her of God’s love, especially for her, the author shows us that God knows us inside out, and knows how best to proceed with healing us, and blessing us beyond our wildest dreams.

For Busola Kehinde, North is the direction that leads us above, and to choose north, is to choose life. In the epilogue, she shares from her personal experience how she has had to choose north at different points in her life, just like her key character. She enjoins us to choose life, to keep choosing life no matter what, and to never lose trust in God.

North is a book to read now. No matter where you are, it’s going to meet you right there and bless you tremendously.

Click HERE to Get the book

© Ubamara Ezenobi, 2019

TOES

The slow walk began with a step
As we tethered on to a certain future

We are uncertain

For we could turn back and still be walking in the same direction
All the love we heard mentioned are but echoes of thunder from the cloudy skies that never rain
We wonder
If the future is a path worth threading
When we barely have enough to mend what’s left of our faith

These shoes hurt on many sides
No one should be allowed to walk in our shoes

I have wondered when the colorful pictures we are painted in would stop being a shadow of itself
Seems the only shade of truth is the color of our reflections

But I’ll walk on in those shoes
No matter how tattered they be worn
This I have sworn
To keep believing past where my eyes can see
Till the day comes
When I’ll walk past my failing faith to belief
I’ll keep patching, tailor my feet on a straight path till I am dead
For an uncertain future is brighter than any certain past I’ve thread.

UcTruth
© 2019

KINGDOM LEGISLATORS

The devil is not as smart as you’ve always thought he was. If you don’t believe me, ask him why he couldn’t kill Joseph’s dream and why he killed Jesus the Christ instead of sparing Him. As a matter of fact, he’s very bad at the game of chess; he doesn’t know when to kill and when to spare, very bad.

The devil is also very timid. He depends completely on human beings all the days of his life; if you want to be more tickled, ask the serpent if he’s content living on dust. Man is dust. The devil depends on the information and intelligence of man to carry out his enterprise.

When I say man, I mean regular human beings, those who are still a little longer than the angels.

However, if you are a child of God, then I think you’d want to hear what I am about to say next:

Matthew 5:13:

[13]Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men- KJV

If I were to use Strong’s concordance to amplify this, look what it would sound like:

Ye are the prudence, the wisdom that the earth depends on but if no one can perceive your counsel because you seem foolishly faithless and clueless as the rest, haven’t you become a huge disappointment? Get ready because you would soon be disdained and contemned.

He made you a preserver, a seasoning for the world. You give life and taste to the world. Recall he’s raised you a king and a priest. Why? Here’s the answer: you have his life in you. He’s translated you from the slavery of sin and death to the kingship of life in him.

You are not just a mere human being with senses to help you live but rather a king to rule, a priest to ordinate so when you get in the mud of life’s issues, you can wriggle out and stand to affirm your desire. You should not be controlled by the system of this place. You are Christ’s ambassador operating with the heavenly system living heaven on earth.

See, the devil, he tries, oh yes really hard but we have got better understanding than to be held captive. Listen, the people the devil is depending on are clueless themselves. Deal shrewdly with them, the world and show them who got the counsel of the Spirit. Do not follow the band wagon of the faithless, those who are not sure about a thing. You’ve got the wisdom of the LORD, child of God. You have more wisdom than Solomon did because Wisdom Himself has made His home in you; He is Jesus the Christ. You know what to do and what to say each time, exercising your authority.

Needless to say, would you like to know one easy way to draw out what you got? Do not ever doubt the Spirit who is one with you in your heart because you are by default setting a legislator. Believe.

The just shall live by faith.

 

© Philippa and Favour Omeje,

 2019.

Ripped pages

Ripped pages
Torn soul
Burning heart
Out of control
Nothing seems whole
Lost sight of the goal
Now stuck at a corner
Sin knows how to cajole
Tongue twist your mind
Makes sure he leaves you blind and weary
Leaves you sailing in his storm
He will always change the norm
But I choose not to conform
I choose to see the calmness in God’s voice and faith in his word
That is my choice
For when trials come, I will always rejoice

Isoje Victor
© 2019

Faith Works

Faith is like cannabis
It infects your soul and you start behaving like one bitten by rabbis
Housing dog.
Faith clears all the fog
That cloaks your hope, dreams, aspirations
It pierces your palms as one awaiting crucifixion
Yet full of assurance that the grave is a testament
To the throne set above the firmaments.
Faith is vision,
A propaganda jingle sounded to fulfill a mission
Faith can be void of reasoning
But a refined product of trusting
The one that really cuts the shot

Simeon Chidi
© 2019

OPEN LETTERS

These letters I write to you Lord are tattered
Like my heart now in pieces
And I know it sounds awkward saying this
But, I have experienced so much change
Become unpredictable like the weather
I don’t even know my mirror anymore
I am stuck in this abyss,
Now Knocked out by life, because I floored

So I need an opening or a door
To escape into your bliss
To experience those moments I once reminiscence about
But my life seems like it has gone south
The walls of my soul has come crumbling down
My crown, I now wear with a scarlet gown
And your love, I have moon walked away from

Every morning, I drown in my own tears
And at night fall I take pleasure talking about my fears
I don’t understand how I have become
A stranger to you and my self
So I can only hope my letters rise to the sky like incense
As my prayer are littered all over those papers
I hope that as I dig through your word again to unearth my goldmine
I pray that you would patiently build my faith again like a skyscraper

Keep me from being as loose as a kite blown by every wind and doctrine
Show me how to love again with great affection
So that your grace will be only song I continually play on my selection
As you teach me to walk on water again despite my imperfection
I am sure then,
That My life will finally make sense again

Isoje Victor
© 2019

EVERYDAY JESUS FAITH SERIES (PART THREE)

Last time, I said that anyone who comes to God must first believe that He exists and that He rewards people who diligently seek him.

I pointed out in my personal Strong’s amplification that to seek God was to worship Him. Today, I’d like to share more treasures I found in the book of Psalms.

Psalms 9 vs 10.

“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee for thou, LORD hast not forsaken them that seek thee” (KJV).

Let me translate;

And they that know God’s character will rest in Him because God has never failed people who worship him, by taking a stand of faith in Him.

You might also want to hear more words of David that will tickle you silly. You find those words in 1 Samuel 17 vs 45.

“Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel whom thou hast defied” (KJV).

The name of the LORD is the character and the person of God. David had known by experience the faithfulness of God for himself personally. The LORD had delivered him from the paws of lions and bears and he saw the Philistine as one of them.

A friend of mine says that faith is not something we do but a result we get. According to him, when we get into the knowledge of God, we trust Him automatically. He says faith is fundamentally a result of the knowledge of God we have; this knowledge is found in the Word.

However, I’d like to add that our faith cannot be made pure if our faith is not tried. James 1 vs 2-4:

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (KJV).

David knew fear alongside other emotions in the face of fearsome lions and bears while caring for his father’s flock in the wilds. Those were the testing of his faith in the LORD his shepherd. When his faith took a good form, he knew the LORD as Jehovah his Raah.

The point I am trying to make is that inasmuch as we should be well versed in the Word of God concerning our lives, we should not get comfortable with having just a mental knowledge of God. We should permit ourselves to go through the practical classes, and these classes are painfully harsh. The good news is that he would not allow a test that we cannot pass to come on us. God is fair, He doesn’t give a fifth grader an undergraduate math test.

I have been telling Father lately that I didn’t want to know mere theories of Him. I am so not letting go of Him until the LORD leaves me a legacy. When I say legacy, I mean until the altar of our relationship is built upon a legit experience. And that I know can only be done by faith.

©Favour Omeje